Archive - September 2016

1
401(k) & Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO)
2
Remember Your 2016 RMD
3
Will Your Golden Years Be Golden?
4
Social Security Benefits After First Spouse Dies
5
Beware of the Rise of Ransomware

401(k) & Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO)

An exception to the 10% penalty on distributions from a qualified plan (but not an IRA, an IRA is split via a transfer incident to a divorce, which is not an automatic exception) Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO (cue-DRO).  A QDRO is often put into place as part of a divorce settlement, especially when one spouse has a qualified retirement plan that is a significant asset.

What happens in the case of a QDRO is that the court determines what amount (usually a percentage, although it could be a specific dollar amount) of the qualified retirement plan’s balance …

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Remember Your 2016 RMD

According to the IRS the penalty for not taking and RMD or not taking the full RMD is 50% of the amount not withdrawn.  This can lead to significant losses to a retiree that must take RMDs.  Generally, most financial planners and or custodians we’ll be able to help the individual and remind them that they have and RMD and how much that amount needs to be.

If an individual finds themselves in the precarious position of having forgotten to take the RMD or did not take out enough, there is a remedy.  The IRS allows an individual to file …

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Will Your Golden Years Be Golden?

In the past, most people relied on Social Security, pensions, and personal savings to see them through retirement. But with doubts about Social Security’s continued solvency, the decline of traditional pension plans, and savings rates at or near zero, this model just doesn’t work anymore. And simply contributing to qualified accounts (401(k)s, IRAs) isn’t enough. In this post, we’ll look at how to put together a comprehensive plan to help ensure your Golden Years are truly golden.

First, it’s hard to reach your destination if you don’t know where you’re going. Setting goals for retirement, while relatively simple, is critically …

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Social Security Benefits After First Spouse Dies

When your spouse dies there are a few things that happen to your Social Security benefits that you need to be aware of. These things will affect your benefits significantly if your own benefit is less than that of your late spouse’s benefit (or Primary Insurance Amount). These changes to available benefits could also result in increased benefits if your own benefit is the larger of the two.

These same impacts are apparent for ex-spouses as well. While reading the below, just replace “your spouse” with “ex-spouse” and all provisions are the same.

Spousal Benefits cease

When your spouse dies, …

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Beware of the Rise of Ransomware

On March 31, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in collaboration with the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre, issued a joint alert on ransomware (1).  Less than one month later, anti-malware maker Enigma Software reported that April 2016 was the “worst month for ransomware on record in the U.S.” (2).  In an effort to increase awareness to this ever-growing cybersecurity threat, I’d like to share the below information with you today:

What is Ransomware?

According to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (“US-CERT”), ransomware is a specific type of malicious program (i.e., a virus) where the victim’s computer, network, …

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